All Sectors Must Engage to Meet Asia Pacific’s Road Safety Challenge

Road safety is a growing public health concern in Asia and the Pacific that kills more than one person a minute—a challenge that requires the engagement of all sectors of society, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bambang Susantono told a workshop today.

“While governments have the primary responsibility to ensure road safety, the magnitude of this crisis requires all segments of society to engage and to contribute, including the private sector,” Mr. Susantono said. “This is where a good partnership between governments and development organizations can help find ways to drastically reduce the number of fatal and serious injuries from road crashes in the coming years.”

He was speaking at the first workshop on the implementation of the Asia Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO) on the sidelines of the Asia and the Pacific Transport Forum 2020 taking place online from 24 to 28 August.

According to ADB estimates, on average, more than 2,000 people lose their lives in road crashes in the region every day and many more sustain serious life-changing injuries. “More than one person dies every minute, and as I speak for 10 minutes, 14 people will have lost their lives on the roads of Asia and the Pacific,” Mr. Susantono told participants at the workshop.

APRSO is envisioned to be the leading forum on road safety data, policies, and practices across Asia and the Pacific. It will help improve the quality of road safety data, support the monitoring of regional and global road safety targets, promote effective policies and evidence-based road safety interventions across the region, as well as the use of best practices. 

ADB serves as secretariat and host of the observatory, which is supported also by the World Bank Group, International Automobile Federation, International Transport Forum, UNESCAP, and the Global Road Safety Facility.

Mr. Susantono emphasized that ADB is committed to improving road safety in the region, embedding road safety in all road projects, supporting subregional road safety initiatives, and working closely with other agencies and governments to support global road safety agendas.